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Euro 2020: Off-colour Mbappe sinks French hopes

Football is a great leveller and nobody will agree with this more than French superstar, Kylian Mbappe.

In a thrilling Round of 16 eliminator, Switzerland defeated world champions France 5-4 on penalties in Bucharest.

Kylian Mbappe missed the decisive spot-kick in the shootout following a thrilling 3-3 draw.

In a game that swung like a pendulum, Haris Seferovic gave Vladimir Petkovic’s Switzerland a shock lead inside 15 minutes.

Ricardo Rodriguez had a chance to bury the knife into French hopes but his weakly hit penalty was brilliantly saved by Hugo Lloris early in the second half.

Karim Benzema, recalled to the France squad for the Euro 2020 after a five-and-a-half-year international exile, raised his game at the right juncture.

He struck twice within 4 minutes to put the Euro 2016 finalists in the lead, 2-1.

What followed next was one of the goals of the tournament.

A sumptuously executed kick by the mercurial Paul Pogba crashed into the top left corner of the next, making it 3-1.

Credit to the Swiss who never capitulated.

In the 81st minute, Seferovic powered in a terrific delivery from substitute Kevin Mbabu to give the Swiss hope.

The Swiss continued to press and Mario Gavranovic then had a goal ruled out for offside.

But the Swiss were not to be denied as the indomitable Gavranovic equalised in the 90th minute, skipping past Presnel Kimpembe and driving low beyond Lloris.

Switzerland converted all five of their penalties before Sommer dived to his right to turn away Mbappe’s kick.

In a historic day for Swiss football, they won a major tournament knockout tie for first time in 83 years.

Kylian Mbappe was distraught after failing to score but received support from an unexpected quarter.

Football legend tweeted his support and asked him not to be discouraged.

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